Data centers eyed near Bristow schools

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Stanley Martin Homes appears to be abandoning a plan for 551 homes near Chris Yung Elementary School in Bristow in favor of a potential 4.2-million-square-foot data center.

Stanley Martin submitted an application dealing with 269 acres, seeking to change its designation in Prince William County’s Comprehensive Plan from suburban residential low to flexible-use employment center.

Combined with a recently-approved data center complex nearby, if Stanley Martin’s proposal passes, it would create roughly 465 acres for data centers between Chris Yung and Piney Branch elementary schools.

The Comprehensive Plan amendment was submitted Feb. 11 and comes ahead of a planned rezoning application.

A Comprehensive Plan amendment only changes what the county says it hopes for future use of the land. It does not bind the county, the board or the landowners to any guaranteed future uses. The properties would still require zoning approval to allow data centers.

However, if the Comprehensive Plan amendment is approved first, one of the factors weighing in favor of a rezoning application would be its consistency with the plan.

The areas shaded in blue are proposed for “flexible-use employment” zoning. (Courtesy Prince William County via InsideNoVa)

In early 2020, Stanley Martin submitted a rezoning application for the three parcels to allow 551 single-family homes. The request was to change the properties from agricultural to planned mixed residential zoning.

At the time, the property was owned by Edith Rameika, trustee of the EV Hunter Trust. Since then, Stanley Martin has acquired the property for nearly $51.3 million.

Rameika was also owner of properties adjacent to the Stanley Martin land that was approved for data centers in September. That 196 acres was sold for $48.5 million in October and will likely be home to Amsterdam-based data center developer Yondr Group.

The Comprehensive Plan amendment cites the nearby project as a compatible adjoining land-use.

The Stanley Martin property has been proposed for residential development for nearly seven years.

In 2015, the Stonehaven development was pitched to bring 1,006 residential units and 1.1 million square feet of commercial space to 718 acres. The Stanley Martin proposal first came to the county’s Planning Commission in September 2018.

The Board of Supervisors approved the residential development in March 2020 despite opposition from residents and the Prince William County School Board.

The data center proposal says the land-use designation change would support up to 4.2 million square feet of development.

Stanley Martin Homes did not return a request for comment.

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